Shaun Mandy’s dressage blog: goodbye — I leave you in a happy place and excited about my future

  • Dear gorgeous readers,

    It is a very wet Monday afternoon and as I write to you. I am snuggled under a blanket on my sofa with Pringle in her little doggy bed by my side. She does love her bed and it is like a kangaroo pouch that she buries herself in.

    Pringle in her bed

    Today marks an end of an era as this will be my final time that I write to you. I can’t believe it has been four years since I started writing back in Denmark when I was with Hasse Hoffmann. It’s been quite a journey since then and I would just like to thank all of you who have enjoyed my blogs from the beginning and lovely messages I have received over the years of encouragement and good wishes.

    Of course, a big thank you to Horse & Hound for allowing me this opportunity, which I have enjoyed.

    My new cottage

    A few weeks ago, I moved into my cottage in Idstone. It really is so great to be able to walk out my front door, across a field and into my yard. This makes quite a change from driving half an hour every day to get to my horses. Since my break up in May, I was renting a room from my dear friend, Amelia. I am so thankful to her for helping me out during that time. Having my things around me again and my own space has made my soul happy and I really feel like I can push forward in life once more.

    Feeling at peace in my home

    Inky is feeling fabulous and getting stronger in his work (pictured top). I was at Ulrik’s last week and our canter pirouttes were much better and I was really able to keep the structure and have them smaller, which has been a bit of a struggle. Ulrik was very pleased!

    A sunny day competing at Hunters

    It is funny, forward slash, annoying, how when things in your test that have been a weak area improve and at the same time something that is normally a total given goes the other way. This happened to me at Hunters Equestrian a few weeks back in the PSG (prix st georges). Our warm up was fab and Inky was feeling on top form. I even had a rider approach me in the warm up who said how much she loved my horse and my riding and would I be available to teach her. I was really touched by this and it was a lovely compliment. In the test, Inky’s general way of going is better and more secure and we got eights for our four- and three-time flying-changes. Our extended walk, which is normally a highlight and will generally get an eight for, we got a five! This is also a double mark and so very expensive. I am so happy with how he is improving and so I put that five behind me as I know Inky has a fabulous walk, and we look forward to doing the inter I at hunters on 24 October.

    Donald admiring our hacking view

    It is great to have Donald join my yard. He is a talented six-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding. I will be producing and competing him and he will be for sale. Him and Inky have become best friends and Donald joined us for training at Ulrik’s. I feel we may be doing some separate journeys, just to keep a little bit of a healthy distance involved in their relationship!

    Gorgeous Donald

    Continued below…

    I have my third stable open for dressage boot camp and I have just had a lovely eventer in for some training. Jack was great to work with and I have another one coming in for a few weeks, so my next availability is from 5 November. Do get in touch if you would like to book your horse in.

    Jack and I schooling

    So my lovelies, I leave you in a happy place and excited about my future.

    Take care and goodbye.

    Shaun xx

    Body Mind Mastery Quote: “When climbing a mountain, define each step in the right direction as success. We learn the alphabet before we write words; it works the same in sport and life. Many small successes add up” – Dan Millman

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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